From Popcorn to Treats: Mimi’s Vintage Bowl

On this Halloween night, the air is chilly and a steady rain is falling. It’s not likely that many trick or treaters will come calling tonight. However, I’m ready. The porch light is on. Candles are lit on the front deck as well, welcoming beacons in the twilight.

Indoors, candles continue the cheery warmth throughout the house, a cozy barrier against the darkness and the chill. And on the entryway table rests Mimi Leta’s vintage aluminum bowl, filled with packets of fruit snacks.

From Popcorn to Treats: Mimi Leta’s Vintage Bowl

A Bowl for Popcorn

I quickly learned two things about Leta Moore, the kindhearted, generous woman who would become my mother-in-law: she enjoyed cups of hot tea, and she adored a bowl of popcorn in the evenings.

Greg’s dad, Bob, popped corn over a burner on the stove. He added kernels and a bit of oil to a rectangular metal box with a very long handle. A wire mesh cover kept the popcorn in place, which was crucial. As the oil in the pan heated up, Bob shook that container vigorously, until every kernel popped.

While Bob popped the corn, Leta melted a small amount of butter in a pan on the stove. The fluffy popcorn was transferred into the aluminum bowl with the floral border, drenched in butter and sprinkled with salt. It’s the only bowl I ever saw Leta use for her special treat. She shared the popcorn, of course! I always smiled, however, over her obvious enjoyment of this simple snack.

From Popcorn to Treats: Mimi Leta’s Vintage Bowl

Vintage Aluminum Salad Bowl Set

After both of Greg’s parents passed away, I found the old bowl in a cabinet in the kitchen. Memories stirred as I held the container. Researching the keepsake tonight, I learned the big bowl was actually part of a set. Manufactured in the 1950s, the aluminum set included a large bowl with the stamped floral border, and four smaller salad bowls.

Greg vaguely remembers the smaller bowls, but we did not find them in the house as we packed up items. The larger decorative bowl came home with me. Although I don’t pop my own corn, and only occasionally eat a healthy non-GMO brand of popcorn, I have precious memories of Leta associated with this simple item.

And, the old bowl is the perfect size for holding Halloween treats.

From Popcorn to Treats: Mimi Leta’s Vintage Bowl

From Popcorn to Treats: Mimi Leta’s Vintage Bowl

From Popcorn to Treats: Mimi Leta’s Vintage Bowl

Be Happy

As I predicted, the cool, rainy weather kept most of the children indoors or influenced their parents to take them to indoor venues, such as the mall, for treats. That’s okay. I’m enjoying hot tea and cozy candlelight, and I have a new book to crack open and read.

A few trick or treaters have braved the elements and knocked on the door. I’ve seen Spider-Man tonight, and a princess, monsters and two young ladies wearing long gorgeous dresses and lavish makeup. It’s fun to step outside, with the vintage bowl full of treats, and speak to the kids.

One young girl, about five years old, surprised me. She’s my neighbor actually, and this child already understands that life is magical and that it’s okay to be who she is. She dances in the rain and plays with my cats and always calls out a friendly greeting when she sees me outside.

As I offered her a treat, she sang a little song. And then she reached into her bucket of goodies and handed me a Jolly Rancher lollipop. “For you,” she said. “You are giving me a treat?” I asked. “Yes,” she answered, with a big smile. “I just want you to be happy.”

I’m still smiling over her sweet generosity. Mimi Leta would have loved this girl. I’m never going to eat that lollipop. It will serve as a reminder that there are amazing people in the world. And one of them happens to be five years old, and living next door. I am happy.

From Popcorn to Treats: Mimi Leta’s Vintage Bowl

Haunted House Stories from an Intuitive Realtor

Tonight, on Halloween Eve, the story I intended to write fell apart, for various reasons, at 9:00 PM. Sitting quietly, considering other possibilities, a crazy idea came together. I’ve shared frequently in the past five years of blog posts, that I am an Intuitive. From birth I have had the ability to sense and perceive energy that many people are unaware of. I fully accept who I am now and embrace my quirky gifts.

I am also a realtor, meaning I help people buy and sell houses. It’s from that interesting space, where real estate and intuition overlap, that tonight’s story was born.

Haunted House Stories from an Intuitive Realtor

House Hunting Haunting

Do you believe in haunted houses? From my personal experiences the last 15+ years as a realtor, I present my top three haunted house stories. Names and addresses and actual photos are omitted or changed, to protect clients. These tales are about real houses in the Joplin area, owned, sold, bought, and lived in by real people.

Realtors are not required, by law, to disclose that a house is haunted. It is considered stigmatizing to the property to reveal such information. There are many ways for a house to be haunted. It’s energy that gets trapped in a home. Grief, fear, pain, illness…both physical and mental, can pool in a house and affect it, sometime by creating an uneasiness or heaviness. And sometimes the energy gets caught in a loop, and plays over and over again like a song stuck on repeat.

Do I think it’s a good idea for my clients to know what I’m picking up, intuitively, in a house? Yes, but it also depends on the clients. If they consciously or unconsciously react to what I can feel, I share. If they seem oblivious or closed off to hearing that the house has a “presence”, I refrain and trust that they will make a decision that feels right for them.

Haunted House Stories from an Intuitive Realtor

This is My House

I felt very unsettled the first time I walked into this vacant house. When there’s positive energy in a home, such as love and comfort, my scalp tingles. When there’s negative energy, such as deep regret or fear, I get tingles of energy across my upper back. This three story home, complete with a basement, caused ripples across my back.

When I learned that the current owners had moved out, and rented another home, I knew they had experienced a haunting. During a phone call, one of the sellers admitted the old house had a problem.

Soon thereafter, I met the “problem” during a showing. Because of my own discomfort I stood near the open front door while my buyers climbed to the third floor. From the empty, shadowy kitchen a petite woman appeared, dressed in an old fashioned dark colored dress. She was not happy. After telling me her name she told me this was her house, and no one else could live there.

That night I researched the house, using the name I had received and discovered the information was accurate. I also found out the house had been built for her, a century ago, by the woman’s husband and she only lived there a short time before she died. It was a possessive energy I felt in the home.

The next time I showed the house, I waited until the buyers were on the top floor, and then I stepped into the kitchen. I felt drawn to a small room that led to a very dark basement. Being the lowest point in the house, basements collect negative energy, which is more dense. I don’t like basements and I refused to go down the stairs. Suddenly I felt a whoosh of air near the left side of my head and heard a loud smack against the wall. I jumped, but refused to be intimidated. Instead I talked quietly and calmly about sharing the house and allowing other people in, who would love the house as much as she did. There was a lightness that came into the room, and some of the heaviness lifted.

I had not had any offers on this property, and the house had been listed previously by another company. However, after my chat in the kitchen, I received three offers in the days following. One was accepted. I hope they all continue to live happily together.

Haunted House Stories from an Intuitive Realtor

The Ghost on the Stairs

This haunted house, also vacant when I listed it, had a dark and tragic history. One family had lived in the house for many, many years, until there was no one left to occupy it. I could not be in the house alone, so heavy was the energy, and I limited my time within it. I learned from a friend of the family that a son had committed suicide in one of the upstairs bedrooms. The sadness and despair in that room was overwhelming and seemed to follow me down the long upper hallway whenever I had to give a tour of the house.

One day, I stood in the home’s dining room on the first floor, while a curious buyer explored a bedroom off to my right. Greg, who had volunteered to accompany me, stood in the foyer near the living room. I heard the sound of footsteps upstairs, even though I knew there was no one up there. As I listened intently, the footsteps moved to the top of the enclosed stairs, and started down…clomp, clomp, clomp…toward the dining room.

I experienced a moment of panic, wondering what my buyer must be thinking, but glancing at her, she did not appear to hear anything. Greg had not turned to look my way either. Apparently I was the only one who could hear the footsteps as they descended. Freakishly, the sound grew louder and the “person” seemed to be moving faster as it neared the bottom of the stairs.

I watched, fascinated, to see who, or what, would appear. A shadowy figure moved away from the stairs, crossed the dining room in front of me, and passed right by Greg in the foyer before disappearing. As the figure traversed the rooms, the sound of its footsteps accompanied it.

Well, that ought to discourage the buyer! I thought. But she didn’t notice. She never said a word about the sounds or the shadow, choosing to pass on the house due to the extensive repairs that needed to be done.

The house eventually sold. The buyers’ agent and I discussed the house at length and I shared my experiences. His clients bought the property anyway. A short time later they moved out and had the house torn down.

A Country Haunting

The most haunted house I’ve been in locally, was an old farmhouse, out in the country. I strongly advised my clients to pass on the property as they looked for a fixer upper to purchase. This two story home had such negative energy that I could not be in the house for more than a few minutes at a time, and I could not go upstairs at all. As I stood in the yard, while my clients toured the vacant home, the neighbor walked over and confirmed what I could feel.

Many tragedies occurred within the house, and the “helpful” neighbor whispered stories to me of abandonment and insanity and ghosts that roamed the attic.

Against my advice, my clients purchased the home. One week later, the wife called me, in tears. They were experiencing all kinds of strange problems as they tore out walls and hauled out trash and attempted a remodel. “You were right,” she said. “This house is haunted.” She called me again, a short time later, crying, sitting alone in the house. Her husband was at work. “Do you hear that?” she asked, holding the phone away from her ear. I couldn’t tell what the noise was. My frazzled client shared that she could hear someone walking around, in a house that she alone occupied.

My clients moved out of the house, and into an RV, while they finished the remodel. I found them another house to buy, and they relocated, leaving me to list a house that I could barely enter. At one time I had photos of the home’s interior, showing rooms filled with strange distortions, white orbs and streaks of light.

Open houses were interesting, as I sat on the deck and watched for visitors, only stepping into the house while people looked around. Children cried. Adults felt odd in the house. I thought it would never sell, in spite of the beautiful remodel. Eventually it did, to a couple who didn’t feel a thing in the house. Perfect.

I could tell many more stories. Or I could write a book about the haunted houses I’ve shown, listed or previewed. I pitched the book idea to a publisher and received interest in anything I wrote on the subject. Perhaps someday, I will write all the stories down.

I’m a realtor and an Intuitive. I can show you a house…and tell you whether it is haunted, or not.

Haunted House Stories from an Intuitive Realtor